No more excuses about it your team being awful because it’s early in the season! The calendar has flipped to October, and this is the time of year when we see what teams have the goods and which ones should start looking ahead to the draft in April.
Week 5 had its fair share of awesome moments, and I’m here to look at five of its biggest storylines.
1. THREE MAN RACE FOR MVP NOW?
After watching Patrick Mahomes annihilate every defense he saw through the first quarter of the season, many were ready to inscribe his name in the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player trophy. On the contrary, I am of the belief that Kermit might have some competition now in the form of two NFC superstars.
Russell Wilson has been absolutely sensational this season for Seattle, guiding them to a 4-1 record and great win against the Rams Thursday night. Throwing four touchdowns on only 17 completions, he simply made the most out his opportunity and is now on pace for over 4500 yards on the season with 38 touchdowns. We knew how good Ciara’s husband (I had to do it) has been over his career, but he’s reaching new lengths in his age 30 season.
Let’s look away from the quarterbacks for a second and appreciate Christian McCaffrey’s performance this season. Outside of a Week 2 stinker, the #3rd year running back out of Stanford is currently leading the league in all-purpose yardage and helped his cause by exploding all over a Jaguars’ run defense for 237 total yards and three scores. We’ve been so used to the MVP only going to quarterbacks in recent years, but it would be hard to ignore the production and impact C-Mac has had on this Carolina team.
2. OH NO… HE”S HUMAN!!!
Yes, Patrick Mahomes wasn’t his usual elite self Sunday night, only scoring 13 points of offense in a loss to Indianapolis. While much can be credited to the performance of Indy’s D (specifically former Chief Justin Houston), Mahomes was seen on camera several times with a slight limp after getting cleated by some friendly fire thanks to one of the offensive linemen. Besides getting stepped on by his protection, he sure didn’t receive any. The edge rushers on Indy were able to have their way with Kansas City, giving Mahomes little time to do his usual scamper and pass. Throw in the fact that Marlon Mack ran like a gazelle for the Colts, it was just an off night for a normally great team.
Mahomes said he would need treatment but should be okay, and he better be for KC. Houston comes into town next Sunday, and Deshaun Watson could have a field day against this struggling defense.
3. SCARY SITUATION IN PITTSBURGH
The Steelers fell to 1-4 yesterday after a tough overtime loss to Baltimore 26-23. Regardless of the outcome of the game, the biggest concern now for Pittsburgh is the status of starting quarterback Mason Rudolph.
In the third quarter of yesterday’s game, Rudolph was drilled on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Earl Thomas and was out cold before he hit the ground. His teammates immediately huddled around him, with JuJu Smith-Schuster bawling his eyes out. Thankfully Rudolph was able to stand up and was carried off the field, but seeing your teammate’s body limp like that and fearing the worst is unimaginable.
Hopefully, Rudolph clears the concussion protocol soon and can get back out there for the Steelers soon, but for the time being Pittsburgh now turns the ball to Devlin Hodges, a rookie out of Division II Samford. Despite being the FCS all-time leader in passing yards, playing a hungry Chargers team coming off a bad loss is not ideal for the young man.
4. A DIFFERENT AARON STEALS THE SHOW FOR GREEN BAY
Luckily for Green Bay, they continued their success over Dallas Sunday afternoon, pulling out a 34-24 victory in Jerry World, and luckily for yours truly, I HAD AARON JONES ON MY FANTASY TEAM!!!!!
Jones did his best Barry Sanders impression yesterday, running for over 100 yards with FOUR touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 76 yards and helped take the pressure off of Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. That’s what makes this Packers team so intriguing, the ability to be a balanced offense and, if you really need it, have one of the best quarterbacks in history do his magic.
As for Dallas, this was easily their worst performance of the season, and Dak didn’t look like a $30,000,000 QB throwing three picks. Credit the team for making it close towards the end, but maybe (and somewhat predictably) they’re not the Super Bowl contenders we thought they were.
Green Bay faces off against an improved Detroit team at home next Monday night, while the Cowboys get a prime bounce-back matchup with the Jets. If Dallas can’t win that game, sound the alarms.
5. ARE THE RAIDERS… GOOD?
Coming off a one-sided victory over the Colts in Week 4, Oakland traveled to London and out-played the Bears’ defense in tune to a 24-21 victory. That’s two quality wins over two quality opponents in two weeks, but what is leading to their success?
Rookie running back Josh Jacobs has been playing like a first-rounder and had an excellent game against a usually elite defense. The offensive line, led by new signings Richie Incognito and Trent Brown, have been well worth their money, and the defense full of young studs has been awesome.
I, like many others, gave Jon Gruden a lot of heat for his job last year, but after getting some time to build his roster with Mike Mayock, the Raiders have been a pleasant surprise. Are they a playoff team in a poor AFC? Who knows. They get their bye this week before two straight road games against the Packers and Texans. That will be the time to see what they’re truly made of.
TNF PICK: NEW YORK GIANTS (2-3) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-0) [-17.0]
Curse the football gods who gave New England such an easy schedule this season!
These two teams have a history that needs no explanation, but this will be their first matchup since December #29th, 2007 where Eli Manning won’t be the starting quarterback for the Giants. Daniel Jones is the guy now, and he’s coming off a loss to a very good Minnesota team. New England has had the best defense in the league this season, and I fully expect Mr. Dimes to have his worst game as a professional. Throw in the Giants defense making Kirk Cousins morph into Dan Marino this past week, I’d be quivering in fear thinking about what TB12 will do.
THE PICK: Patriots (-17.0)